"I shall not return the Kamadhenu to you," Sage Kashyap told a flabbergasted Lord Varuna.
"But...But..." The Lord of the Oceans - Varuna, was completely flummoxed. Not only was Varuna not expecting such an outright rejection, Varuna just did not know what to do.
The problem was that Sage Kashyap was to perform a particularly difficult yagna (fire sacrifice) a few months back.
And as was custom, the sage had needed a cow for performing the yagna.
Without any warning of any sort, Sage Kashyap had taken away Kamadhenu - Varuna's cow from Varuna's home.
And when Varuna had asked for the cow back, the sage blatantly refused to hand over the animal.
"It is mine, henceforth," the sage told Varuna. "And I have no intention of handing over Kamadhenu to you."
At first Varuna wanted to use brute force and take back his Kamadhenu. But Varuna stopped himself.
Despite the fact that Sage Kashyap had stolen Kamadhenu, the sage was powerful and had immense powers of penance. Varuna knew that if he used force, it was very probable that the sage could use his powers and curse Varuna. And Varuna did not want that.
So Varuna did the next best thing.
Varuna complained to Lord Brahma, about Sage Kashyap's actions.
Lord Brahma was shocked as Varuna continued, "The calves of Kamadhenu, my lord," Varuna said in a pleading voice. "The calves keep whimpering for their mother." Varuna took a deep breath looking unhappy. "Please, Lord Brahma do something."
Lord Brahma was terribly angry as he summoned Sage Kashyap to come before him.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Lord Brahma shouted at Sage Kashyap as soon as Sage Kashyap appeared before him.
Sage Kashyap saw Varuna and Lord Brahma and suddenly paled.
"My Lord," Sage Kashyap said bowing before the Creator God. "I need Kamadhenu for my yagna! Without the cow, it is impossible to complete the yagna!"
"FOOLISH MAN!" Lord Brahma thundered angrily as Sage Kashyap looked shocked unable to talk any further.
"You do not deserve the place of respect that people give you here!" Brahma said angrily. "Go to earth and tend to the cows there. That would be a fit job for you. That is the only thing which will teach you what a wrong thing you have done right now!" Brahma said angrily.
Sage Kashyap's eyes widened as he shook his head trying to stop his father.
"Go now!" was all Lord Brahma said as he refused to listen to anything that Sage Kashyap had to say.